Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports & Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Welcome to the Singapore River Regatta 2011 - a sporting event that has been part of our sporting history for 29 years! While Singapore has grown into a dynamic global city over the past three decades, it is heartening to see people still coming together to race and cheer in the River Regatta. Over the next two days, some 3,000 competitors will pit their skills in more than 170 events. Bringing together people from diverse backgrounds, the River Regatta exemplifies the enduring passion we Singaporeans have for sports.
2 So, it gives me great pleasure to announce the beginning of a new tradition in sports: the Singapore National Games. Co-organised by the People's Association and the Singapore Sports Council, the inaugural Singapore National Games (SNG) will be held in September 2012 as a 'community-first' event. For two weeks, people from across Singapore will compete in 10 sports.
3 Built on the cornerstones of the All C.A.R.E. concept, the SNG will bring together people of all Channels, Age, Race and Estates. Ignited by our shared passion for sport, the SNG will provide all residents with the opportunity to play more sports with people from across their constituencies. And in doing so, people will get to know each other that much better.
4 Looking back at the success of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, I remember the warmth, the generosity and tenacity of the Singapore spirit. We all play sport for different reasons: to have fun, to get fit, to compete or to prove something. But as we play sports, something deeper happens.
5 We may come together as respected competitors and teammates. But we will make new friends as we become members of a greater community. We will learn together. We will develop an appreciation for teamwork and a commitment to leadership. We will develop a shared pride in both our individual and team efforts.
6 Let me take a moment to extend my congratulations to our Team Singapore athletes who did us all proud at the recent Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia. You did your best for Singapore, and you brought out the best in us, by inspiring us with your dedication to sport and your winning spirit.
7 Through the SNG, we hope to see these qualities thrive at the community level, too. Our aim is to provide all in Singapore with opportunities to participate, unite and celebrate, through sport.
8 Families will form closer bonds, neighbours will forge more meaningful relationships, communities will forge a stronger sense of identity and together Singaporeans will stand united.
9 As a source for national pride, our grassroots sporting heroes and icons can be role models for their communities and for sport. Through their success, they inspire participation and spectatorship, which in turn can serve as a catalyst for growth for our NSAs and the emerging sports industry.
10 As an all-inclusive, high participation, multi-sports event, the Singapore National Games exemplifies the core essence of Vision 2030: Real People, True Sports. Begun earlier this year, the Vision 2030 project is looking at how sport can be used as national strategy to develop our people, our community bonds and our nation. I encourage all of you to join the Vision 2030 conversation - and to get ready for the Singapore National Games in 2012.
11 A winning spirit is anchored on good teamwork and preparation. As you set out to form your teams and groups for the Singapore National Games, I hope that you will forge lifelong friendships and strengthen the bonds within your community.
12 I wish all our participants today a good race ahead.